Florida Senate - 2017                                     SB 200
       By Senator Passidomo
       28-00071-17                                            2017200__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the temporary respite care of a
    3         child; creating s. 409.1761, F.S.; defining terms;
    4         authorizing certain organizations to establish
    5         programs for the purpose of assisting parents and
    6         legal guardians in providing temporary respite care
    7         for a child; restricting care to specified children;
    8         providing that placement of a child in temporary
    9         respite care does not, in the absence of evidence to
   10         the contrary, constitute abuse, neglect, or
   11         abandonment or placement in foster care; authorizing
   12         the Department of Children and Families to refer
   13         children to such programs under certain circumstances;
   14         providing requirements for an organization to register
   15         with a qualified association; requiring collection and
   16         retention of specified information; providing an
   17         exemption from specified licensure requirements under
   18         certain circumstances; requiring notification of
   19         specified information to the department; providing
   20         applicability; requiring background screening of
   21         specified persons; providing exceptions; requiring
   22         parents or legal guardians to enter into a contract
   23         for care as a condition of participation in the
   24         program; providing requirements for such contracts;
   25         requiring a separate authorization for certain care;
   26         providing an effective date.
   28  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   30         Section 1. Section 409.1761, Florida Statutes, is created
   31  to read:
   32         409.1761 Organizations providing temporary respite care for
   33  children not in the child welfare system.—
   34         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
   35         (a) “Qualified association” means an association that:
   36         1. Publishes and requires compliance with its standards and
   37  files copies thereof with the department as provided in s.
   38  409.176(5)(b); and
   39         2. Establishes, publishes, and requires compliance with
   40  best practice standards for operating a program that assists
   41  parents and legal guardians in providing temporary respite care
   42  for a child by a volunteer respite family.
   43         (b) “Qualified nonprofit organization” or “organization”
   44  means a Florida private nonprofit organization that assists
   45  parents and legal guardians in providing temporary respite care
   46  for a child by a volunteer respite family under an agreement
   47  with a qualified association.
   48         (c) “Volunteer respite family” means an individual or a
   49  family who voluntarily agrees to provide temporary care for a
   50  child under a contract for care with the child’s parent or legal
   51  guardian with the assistance of a qualified nonprofit
   52  organization.
   53         (2) QUALIFIED NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION.—A qualified nonprofit
   54  organization may establish a program that assists parents and
   55  legal guardians in providing temporary respite care for a child
   56  by a volunteer respite family. Only a child who has not been
   57  removed from the child’s parent or legal guardian due to abuse
   58  or neglect and placed in the custody of the department is
   59  eligible to be cared for under this section. Placement of a
   60  child under this section, in the absence of evidence to the
   61  contrary, does not constitute abuse, neglect, or abandonment as
   62  these terms are defined in s. 39.01 and is not considered to be
   63  placement of the child in foster care. However, the department
   64  may refer a child to an organization’s program if the department
   65  determines that the services are appropriate for addressing the
   66  needs of a family in crisis, preventing the child from being
   67  placed in the custody of the department, or achieving
   68  reunification of the child with his or her biological family.
   69         (a) Registration.—A qualified nonprofit organization that
   70  provides temporary respite care to children under this section
   71  shall annually register with a qualified association.
   72         1. In order to register, the organization must provide each
   73  year to the qualified association:
   74         a. The name and address of the organization; the names and
   75  addresses of the officers and the members of the board of
   76  directors or other governing body of the organization, as
   77  applicable; the name of the person in charge of the
   78  organization; and proof that the organization and its volunteer
   79  respite families are in compliance with the minimum health,
   80  sanitary, and safety standards required by applicable state law
   81  or local ordinance, the uniform firesafety standards required by
   82  chapter 633, and the personnel screening requirements in s.
   83  409.175 and chapter 435; and
   84         b. The relevant data on the services provided by the
   85  organization, including the organization’s capacity and the
   86  number of approved volunteer respite families; the number and
   87  ages of children being cared for through the organization, the
   88  number of children who have left the care of the organization
   89  during the past year, the length of stay of each child, and the
   90  reason for each child’s care; and the names of all personnel.
   91         2. Upon verification that all requirements for registration
   92  have been met, the qualified association shall, without charge,
   93  issue a certificate of registration valid for 1 year.
   94         (b) Collection and retention of information and
   95  documentation.
   96         1. An organization shall collect and maintain, at a
   97  minimum, the following information and documentation for each
   98  child to whom it provides temporary respite care:
   99         a. The name and age of the child;
  100         b. The name, address, and contact information for the
  101  child’s parent or legal guardian;
  102         c. The name, address, and contact information of the
  103  child’s volunteer respite family;
  104         d. A copy of the contract for care of the child executed
  105  pursuant to subsection (3); and
  106         e. Proof of the volunteer respite family’s compliance with
  107  the personnel screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter
  108  435.
  109         2.An organization shall maintain on site and provide, upon
  110  request, proof that the organization is in compliance with
  111  published minimum standards that are filed by the qualified
  112  association with the department as provided in s. 409.176(5)(b).
  113  The qualified association has the right to access and review the
  114  organization’s files at any time to ensure compliance with this
  115  section and the standards established by the qualified
  116  association.
  117         (c) Exemption from licensure.—The licensing provisions of
  118  s. 409.175 do not apply to a qualified nonprofit organization
  119  under this section. However, such organizations and their
  120  volunteer respite families must meet the personnel screening
  121  requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435.
  122         (d) Notification requirements.Any organization that is
  123  registered with a qualified association shall immediately notify
  124  the department if it has in its care a child with a serious
  125  developmental disability or a physical, emotional, or mental
  126  handicap for which the organization is not qualified or able to
  127  provide care.
  128         (e) Applicability.—The provisions of chapter 39 regarding
  129  the reporting of child abuse, abandonment, and neglect apply to
  130  any organization registered with a qualified association.
  131         (f) Background screening.—A qualified nonprofit
  132  organization shall conduct a screening, as that term is defined
  133  in s. 409.175, of each individual identified in subparagraph 2.
  134         1.The department shall maintain and, upon request, shall
  135  provide proof of compliance of the personnel of the organization
  136  and the members and household of the volunteer respite families
  137  with the screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435.
  138         2. Individuals required to be screened under this section
  139  include:
  140         a. An employee of the organization who assists parents or
  141  legal guardians in providing respite care;
  142         b.A member of the family that is providing respite care
  143  for a child, or a person residing with the family, who is at
  144  least 12 years of age. A person who is 12 years of age or older
  145  but younger than 18 years of age must be screened for
  146  delinquency records, but is not required to be fingerprinted;
  147  and
  148         c. A volunteer who assists on an intermittent basis for
  149  less than 10 hours per month, unless a person who meets the
  150  screening requirements in s. 409.175 and chapter 435 is present
  151  and has the volunteer in his or her line of sight at all times.
  152         (3) CONTRACT FOR CARE.—A parent or legal guardian of a
  153  child must enter into a written contract with the qualified
  154  association for the provision of temporary respite care of the
  155  child under this section. The contract must be executed before,
  156  or at the time, the child is placed with a volunteer respite
  157  family and organization. Through the contract for care, the
  158  parent or legal guardian may delegate to the volunteer respite
  159  family any of the powers regarding the care and custody of the
  160  child, except the power to consent to the marriage or adoption
  161  of the child, the performance or inducement of an abortion on
  162  the child, or the termination of parental rights regarding the
  163  child. The parent or legal guardian may revoke or withdraw the
  164  contract for care at any time, and the child shall be returned
  165  to the custody of the parent or legal guardian as soon as
  166  reasonably possible. A contract for care executed under this
  167  section expires automatically after 1 year and may not operate
  168  to deprive a parent or legal guardian of any parental or legal
  169  authority regarding the care and custody of the child or
  170  supersede a court order regarding the care and custody of the
  171  child. Each contract must:
  172         1. Enumerate the basic services and accommodations provided
  173  by the volunteer respite family and organization.
  174         2. Identify the child, parent or legal guardian, and
  175  volunteer respite family, including necessary contact
  176  information for all parties.
  177         3. Identify the organization, including the address,
  178  telephone number, and primary point of contact.
  179         4. Contain a clear statement regarding disciplinary
  180  procedures.
  181         5. State that the goal of the organization is to return the
  182  child receiving respite care to the parent or legal guardian as
  183  soon as the situation requiring the need for care has been
  184  resolved.
  185         6. Authorize the volunteer respite family to consent on
  186  behalf of the parent or legal guardian to routine and emergency
  187  medical care for the child. However, the volunteer respite
  188  family shall immediately notify the parent or legal guardian of
  189  medical care being provided to the child while the child is
  190  under the care of the volunteer respite family. Such
  191  authorization must be granted separately in the contract by the
  192  parent or legal guardian.
  193         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.